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On the roster: Walden calls quits as GOP retirement riptide continues – Biden says he asked Obama to withhold endorsement – Senate Republicans getting antsy – Bevin blunders with dare to rival – Mondays, Cinder, Mondays
WALDEN CALLS QUITS AS GOP RETIREMENT RIPTIDE CONTINUES
Politico: “Rep. Greg Walden, the top Republican on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, will retire at the end of this Congress, the veteran lawmaker announced Monday. The 62-year-old Walden, who was first elected in 1998, said he was confident he’d win reelection but decided instead to end his congressional career in Jan. 2021. ‘Based on recent polling, strong fundraising, and the backing of my wife and family, I am confident I could earn the support of 2nd District voters for another term.’ … ‘But I also know that for me, the time has come to pursue new challenges and opportunities.’ … The Oregon congressman is the 17th House Republican to announce their retirement this cycle, a sign of how difficult it will be for the GOP to win back the majority in what’s already shaping up as a tough 2020 election.”
California congresswoman resigns amid sex scandal – WaPo: “Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) on Sunday announced her resignation from Congress amid an ethics inquiry into allegations that she had an intimate relationship with a congressional staff member in her office. ‘It is with a broken heart that today I announce my resignation from Congress,’ Hill wrote in a statement. ‘This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I believe it is the best thing for my constituents, my community, and our country.’ Hill’s spokeswoman said that the resignation is not immediate and that Hill is still deciding on when she will leave office. … Last week, the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into allegations that Hill was romantically involved with her legislative director, Graham Kelly, a relationship that would violate House ethics rules. … Hill’s announcement comes ahead of an early filing deadline for the seat — Dec. 6. Democrats argued Sunday night that they would win the open seat next year in a district that Hillary Clinton won by six percentage points in 2016.”
THE RULEBOOK: YEP. YEP, YEP, YEP
“It has until lately been a received and uncontradicted opinion that the prosperity of the people of America depended on their continuing firmly united, and the wishes, prayers, and efforts of our best and wisest citizens have been constantly directed to that object.” – John Jay, Federalist No. 2
TIME OUT: GIVE A DOG A BONE
Smithsonian: “Dogs have helped law enforcement and search-and-rescue crews discover human remains for decades. But recently, a new group has enlisted the help of canines and their olfactory superpowers: archaeologists. In a recent paper in the Journal of Archeological Method and Theory, Vedrana Glavaš, an archaeologist at the University of Zadar in Croatia, and Andrea Pintar, a cadaver dog handler, describe how dogs trained to find human remains helped them track down gravesites dating to around 700 B.C. For The Guardian, Joshua Rapp Learn reports that the team tested the dogs at a hilltop fort called Drvišica along Croatia’s Adriatic coast. … To test the dogs, Glavaš had them sniff around an area where they she had excavated three grave sites the year before. … Two dogs, working independently, easily located all three spots. … The study is a proof of concept that dogs could be used more extensively in archaeology as a non-destructive method of finding human burials…”
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DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 27.6 points (↓ 0.6 from last wk.)
Warren: 24.8 points (↓ 1.6 from last wk.)
Sanders: 14.6 points (↑ 1.2 from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 6.4 points (↑ 0.2 from last wk.)
Harris: 4.8 points (↑ 0.4 from last wk.)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, CNN, Fox News, IBD and Monmouth University.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 41.4 percent
Average disapproval: 55.6 percent
Net Score: -14.2 percent
Change from one week ago: ↓ 2.4 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 38% approve – 58% disapprove; CNN: 42% approve – 57% disapprove; Gallup: 39% approve – 57% disapprove; Fox News: 43% approve – 55% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 45% approve – 51% disapprove.]
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BIDEN SAYS HE ASKED OBAMA TO WITHHOLD ENDORSEMENT
NY Post: “Joe Biden claimed in a new interview that he asked Barack Obama not to endorse his run for president — and called President Trump an ‘idiot’ for saying Russian election interference is a ‘hoax.’ The former vice president appeared on ‘60 Minutes’ Sunday where he was asked by anchor Norah O’Donnell if Obama, who he served with for eight years in the White House, offered to throw his full support behind the campaign. ‘No, we didn’t even get there,’ Biden responded. ‘I asked him not to. He said, ‘OK’ ‘I think it’s better — I think he thinks it’s better for me.’ But if he ends up as the 2020 Democratic nominee, Biden, 76, said he had ‘no doubt” that Obama would ‘be out on the campaign trail for me.’”
Olivia Nuzzi: Biden’s zombie campaign – NY Mag: “The looming presence of the last guy, Jim, is especially important for optics. Jim is tall and official-looking. He greets the world chest-first, his hands resting in a dignified clasp, his expression even, his mouth unmoving. Most people assume that he’s a Secret Service agent. Which he was. But ex-VPs don’t get security for life the way ex-presidents do. Most people don’t know that, not even the politically savvy types who attend these sorts of things. And that’s all for the best, because Jim … is a necessary component of the vibe they’re trying to generate here, the Big Presidential Energy, if you will, that powers this production. And it is a production. This is true even when the event is small, which it often is, because the stakes never are — Joe Biden speaking off the cuff is something the entire campaign seems focused on preventing at all costs. … For political reporters, marveling every day at just how well this isn’t going, watching Biden can feel like being at the rodeo. You’re there because on some level you know you might see someone get killed.”
Climb gets steeper for bottom-tier in December debate – FiveThirtyEight: “For many Democratic presidential candidates, making the debates hasn’t been all that difficult. After all, 12 candidates made the stage in October, and nine have already qualified for the November debate. But on Friday, the Democratic National Committee released its strictest qualifying criteria yet, raising both the polling and donor thresholds for the December debate. And it looks like the new rules could be a thorn in the side of many candidates who have, up until now, qualified for recent debates. … But with over a month to still qualify, it’s likely at least two more candidates will make the cut. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala Harris each only need one more poll to qualify. After that, however, the likelihood that the other candidates qualify becomes, well, debatable.”
Tyler Perry debate host? – Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “We’re being told that the contract has yet to be signed, but plans are for the fifth debate of Democratic presidential candidates to be held on Nov. 20 at Tyler Perry Studios on the grounds of what once was Fort McPherson. … The newly opened $250 million studio is the only major film studio in the nation owned by an African American. The debate is certain to point to a crowning achievement for a once-struggling playwright who, more than 20 years ago, had been kicked out of his apartment and was living out of a car. That’s a message sure to be celebrated by Democrats who will be depending on a strong turn-out by African-Americans, who made up 60% of primary voters in 2018, in the 2020 election season.”
Rashida Tlaib backs Sanders at Detroit rally – Fox News: “Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., became the latest of her fellow ‘Squad’ members to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for president, joining him at a Detroit rally. ‘We deserve someone who writes the damn bills,’ she said, noting Sanders is a man of the people, as Detroit Free Press reported. ‘We deserve Bernie Sanders.’ Tlaib noted that Sanders is a transformative leader who offers solutions not beholden to corporations or the mediocre ideologies of the status quo. … Winning the OK of the ‘Squad’ members has been viewed as crucial in attracting young voters, as the top three Democrats in the polls are all senior citizens — Sanders is 78, former Vice President Joe Biden is 76 and Warren is 70 years old.”
SENATE REPUBLICANS GETTING ANTSY
WaPo: “In hushed conversations over the past week, GOP senators lamented that the fast-expanding probe is fraying their party, which remains completely in Trump’s grip. They voiced exasperation at the expectation that they defend the president against the troublesome picture that has been painted, with neither convincing arguments from the White House nor confidence that something worse won’t soon be discovered. ‘It feels like a horror movie,’ said one veteran Republican senator, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly describe the consensus.”
Ex-Bolton aide wants court to decide whether Trump can keep him quiet – Fox News: “Charles Kupperman, a former deputy to ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton, is looking to the courts to resolve a new standoff in the impeachment inquiry, as Democrats threaten him with contempt for defying a subpoena at the direction of the White House. The subpoena had ordered Kupperman to appear for a deposition Monday morning. He did not. In response to a tough letter from House Democratic leaders, Kupperman’s attorney Charles Cooper suggested his client is willing to comply with their requests eventually — provided a judge tells him to do so.”
Enten: Impeachment unpopular in key swing states – CNN: “A look at the national polls indicate that impeaching and removing Trump from office is at, a minimum, a plurality position. … Indeed, take an examination of the battleground states that Democrats almost certainly need to make inroads into in 2020. The New York Times and Siena College, 2018’s most accurate pollster, took a poll of voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona. These were closest states in the country that cast their electoral votes for Trump in 2016. Just 43% of voters in these six states want to impeach and remove from office at this point. The majority, 53%, do not. This means that the margin for not impeaching and removing Trump in these states ( 10 points) is running well ahead of Trump’s margin in these states of about 1.5 points. Put another way, impeaching and removing Trump from office in these states is not a popular position.”
BEVIN BLUNDERS WITH DARE TO RIVAL
AP: “Entering the final days of Kentucky’s bitter race for governor, Republican incumbent Matt Bevin exposed himself to a new attack by flatly denying his recorded claim that suicides happen nightly in casinos. Telling a debate audience Saturday night that the truth matters, Bevin challenged his opponent to produce a tape proving his denial wrong. Democrat Andy Beshear offered up the audiotape Sunday. The televised exchange turned Bevin’s summer radio interview on WKDZ into a talking point for Democrats heading into the last full week of campaigning in the close gubernatorial contest. In the interview, Bevin claimed, without offering evidence, that suicides occur on a nightly basis in casinos. The exchange highlighted the rancor between the two rivals, which intensified when Beshear, as the state’s attorney general, repeatedly sued the governor for several of his policy and executive decisions.”
Former N.C. Senator Kay Hagan unexpectedly dies at 66 – Charlotte Observer
Former Michigan Rep. John Conyers dead at 90 – Fox News
E.U. gives Brexit another extension – NBC News
Boo birds diss Trump at his first presidential baseball outing – USA Today
Pergram: Halloween to arrive in DC, and it’s getting scarier and scarier on the Hill – Fox News
AUDIBLE: NOT A JOKE!
“They have him in the candidate-protection program. I don’t know if you can do that. I don’t know if you can get through a whole campaign that way. Either he can hack it or he can’t hack it. If you’re worried the candidate can hurt himself talking to a reporter, that’s a bad sign.” – Former Obama adviser David Axelrod talking to NY Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi.
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MONDAYS, CINDER, MONDAYS
WTTG: “A morbidly obese cat in Washington is under strict orders to shed some pounds — and she’s not happy about it. The extra-fluffy feline, named Cinder, was put on a water treadmill at a veterinarian’s office in Bellingham. But instead of walking on all fours, the fat cat sat in the corner and used just one paw on the treadmill — all the while meowing in frustration. Cinder, who also goes by the nickname ‘Cinder Block,’ had been surrendered to Northshore Veterinary Hospital by her previous owners. … The animal hospital said they decided to use an underwater treadmill for Cinder because she has arthritis in multiple joints and is carrying an extra 10 pounds of body weight. They started with a low water level to get her used to the feeling and are gradually raising it the more she uses it. Staff said she is still getting acclimated to using the treadmill.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“First, have the Trumpites not been telling us for six months that no collusion ever happened? And now they say: Sure it happened. So what? Everyone does it. What’s left of your credibility when you make such a casual about-face?” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on July 13, 2017.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.